Earlier this year I was searching for new podcasts to binge and I found “The Guilty Feminist,” featuring Deborah Frances-White and Sofie Hagen. I started listening on my commute and literally LOL’d in my car the whole way to work. I immediately connected with Sofie’s humor about being a millennial who’s just trying to figure out how the world works while standing up for and living by her values. Her routines are smart, authentic, and of course, hilarious.I started listening to @GuiltFemPod and literally LOL'd for my whole commute. Click To Tweet
As I listened to all the back episodes, I learned more about the kickass things Sofie does with her life and her comedy. She’s an outspoken feminist in her home country of Denmark, which she describes as vehemently anti-feminist. Sofie champions body positivity and challenges ideas about what it means to be a woman in a larger body. She creates safe spaces for people with mental illness and anxiety issues at her shows by encouraging those attending to reach out to her and let her know what accommodations they would like to see. Sofie is also a proud bisexual and speaks openly about her sexuality in interviews and her comedy routines.
I recently had the opportunity to connect with Sofie via email and got to ask her about her life, her experiences in comedy, and how she lives her values every day.
The Tempest: How has being an unapologetic feminist effected your career, especially in your home country of Denmark, which you’ve described as vehemently anti-feminist?
I have received actual warnings. I have been told that it’s holding me back – I have had possible roles in sitcoms be held as bait. “You could get this part if you apologize,” – sort of thing. So in terms of a certain part of the industry, it certainly hasn’t helped. Then, on the other hand, I have attracted a large audience of other kickass feminists. I’m on the right side of history so I am not at all concerned. Eventually, they’ll turn around.I'm on the right side of history so I am not at all concerned. Click To Tweet
You’ve done a lot to make your shows a safe space for those with anxiety issues, especially those who have trouble being in crowds. What prompted this decision and how has it impacted your audiences?
My show “Shimmer Shatter,” which I was touring, was about introversion and anxiety, so it just made logical sense that those suffering from those things should be able to attend the shows. Which then of course meant that they did. It was wonderful having so many anxious or awkward people in my audience because I could relate so hard to them. Afterwards we would all be in the lobby, all weird and not knowing what to say to each other. It was magical.
You’re very vocal about the struggles of living in this world with a larger body and you’re a body positive crusader. Recently, you began sharing pictures of your stomach on social media to promote body acceptance. Being a fat woman on the Internet myself, I have dealt with a lot of negative feedback when I proudly post images of my body. How have you dealt with the trolls?
For every troll, I do twice as much. If one person (I say person, let’s be honest and just call it ‘man’) trolls me over a stomach photo, I post two more. If I get trolls because of a feminist tweet, I make five feminist tweets. They do not make me sad any more. They barely irritate me. Instead it becomes very important that they know that they do not silence us. They do not get to silence us. I will scream twice as loud as them till they understand that it is them who needs to shut the fuck up.If one man trolls me over a stomach-photo, I post two more. Click To Tweet
You’ve talked about identifying as a bisexual even though you haven’t slept with any women. How have you experienced bi-erasure in your life and how have you dealt with it?
The bi-erasure comes from within. I have had a few comments from old school friends and such when it comes to my bisexuality, but the worst is the voice in my head, telling me that I’m cheating. Pick a team, already. Stop trying to be special. And then there is the other voice saying, “You are attracted to everyone. It is not dependent on gender. You have been in love with all people. That is the very definition of bisexual.” and I know that’s the clever voice, the voice that’s right. But the other voice is so strong, “Who are you kidding? Just marry a man and stop pretending.”Bi-erasure comes from within. Click To Tweet
Check out Sofie’s writing at her blog, find her latest podcast episodes, tour dates, and more at her website, and definitely check out “The Guilty Feminist” podcast. She’ll have you LOL’ing wherever you go.